Patti Gower

Patti Gower’s photos of Helen Ann Dougherty and her two sisters, Anna Hefner and Lola Mlava, all Holocaust survivors, appeared in the Globe and Mail in 2003.
Anna and Lola, Canadian citizens, were fighting to keep Helen, who was an American citizen, in Canada, since Helen had no family left in the States and was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. A letter from the family lawyer to Canada Immigration, in pleading the case, had detailed the level of full care and support, including financial, that Helen would have if allowed to remain in Toronto near her sisters. Canadian Immigration authorities, nonetheless, had ordered the deportation of the 75-year-old.
However, after the story appeared in the paper, the issue was raised in Parliament and the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration personally reversed the decision.

Patti Gower graduated from the Loyalist College Photojournalism Program in 1989. Her studies at Loyalist, combined with an Honours Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Waterloo and teaching degree from the University of Toronto, have contributed to her photographic journey and current teaching position in the photojournalism program at Loyalist since 2008.
As a staff photojournalist at The Globe and Mail from 1999-2003, at the Toronto Star from 1989-97, and freelance documentary photographer from 2003-06, Patti has covered a range of social issues for the national media including projects on Toronto’s homeless, Canadian child poverty, HIV/AIDS in Africa, racial harmony and military, and natural disasters in Haiti and Banda Ache, Indonesia.
Her long list of awards includes a National Newspaper Award for Feature photography (1994), the Society of Newspaper Design Award for Feature Photography (1999), and the Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy award in 2001—the first time that a photographer received the award. Patti’s work with fellow Globe and Mail writer Margaret Philp delved into the public policies around adoption in Canada, looking at the public, private and international system of adoption in Canada.